Fort McMurray, AB (April 28, 2021) – Below is a statement from David Fitzgerald, President of the Fort McMurray Oil Barons, about the organization’s decision to conclude its 2020-21 AJHL season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Oil Barons organization has decided to conclude the 2020-2021 season early out of concern for the safety of our players, billet families, staff and all involved with our League amid the local state of emergency in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. This was a difficult choice, but one we felt was necessary to maintain the health and safety of our organization and community.
With case numbers in our community among the highest per capita in Alberta, we feel strongly that this is the best decision – even though it goes against our competitive nature. We have a proud 40-year history in the AJHL and pride ourselves on teaching our players the core values of teamwork and leadership – both on and off the ice.
Since the AJHL returned to play in early March, our organization has followed all COVID-19 protocols in place to limit the risk of anyone in our organization from contacting COVID-19.
I’m pleased to say that thanks to these protocols and our organization’s dedication to them, none of our players, staff, or billet families tested positive for the virus during this time. As president of this organization, I take great pride in sharing this positive news in the midst of a global pandemic.
On behalf of our organization, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the AJHL and Government of Alberta for granting us approval to play this season. I would like to thank our billet families for welcoming our players into your homes without question and to our loyal supporters and sponsors for your continuous support.
Good luck to all remaining AJHL teams who are still competing in games during the final weeks of the season. Stay safe and healthy – we will see you on the ice next season.”